Ikeke and Releford Victorious

By Stephen Breland @ Ringside


Ikeke and Releford Victorious

Oscar De La Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions & Warriors Boxing presented an action packed evening of boxing at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Celebrities in attendance included Bernard Hopkins, Oscar De La Hoya, actor Steven Seagal, Nationally syndicated DJ Tom Joyner, Lamon Brewster, Zab Judah, Glen Johnson, Shannon Briggs, Lance Whitaker, Daniel Santos and more!   The main event and co-featured were broadcast on HBO Latino's Boxeo De Oro.

In the main event, Kingsley Ikeke improved to 21-1 (11) and retained three minor titles by stopping Rene Arostegui in the fifth round.  Ikeke sought to dictate the pace from the outset, using a long jab and lateral motion to stay two steps ahead of Arostegui.  Half way into the first round Arostegui’s face was red and beginning to swell as the result of Ikeke’s jab. Arostegui, However, was game and was able to land a single blows in spots.  In the second Ikeke continued to score with jabs and right crosses from just outside range of Arostegui, who would reach out with his punches while missing most.   At the end of the second Arostegui was doubled over by wicked left hook to the body.  In the fourth, Ikeke stayed on top of his opponent, winning every exchange and beating Arostegui from pillar to post.  Arostegui finally went down from a lunging right but was able to beat the count and narrowly survive the round.  The Ikeke onslaught continued until 1:55 of the fifth when he stopped Arostegui once and for all with a left hook to the body – ala Hopkins/De La Hoya  who just so happened to be sitting together at ringside.  De La Hoya and Hopkins looked like old friends as they talked and laughed while discussing the fights.  They were even wearing almost matching shirts!

In the co-feature, Kendrick Releford scored a unanimous decision over the rugged Eliser Castillo.  Castillo started fast, stalking and backing up Releford up with hard blows over the first two rounds.  The tide began to shift in the third when Releford found his rhythm and began landing the cleaner punches.  Over the next few rounds Releford established a superior jab and found a home for his short right uppercut on the inside against the Cuban Southpaw.  Castillo was constantly throwing hard hooks to the body, many of which were caught by Releford's guard. By the sixth round, Releford was landing far more frequently.  Castillo, clearly frustrated but not discouraged, shook his head at Releford who was content to continually pelt Castillo’s chin with right upper cuts. Castillo resorted to punching Releford on the right thigh/hip – a tactic he was warned against in the fourth round.

The seventh was a close round with Castillo coming out very aggressively and landing hard shots to the body.  As they continued to fight on the inside, Castillo was effective in going downstairs but it seemed that Releford just couldn’t miss with the right upper cut to the head.  In the ninth, the referee deducted a point from Castillo for again punching Releford’s thigh.  Sensing some urgency, Castillo stepped up the pace.  They trade right hooks and Castillo gets the better of the exchange.  Castillo landed a Monster uppercut upstairs that seemed to hurt Releford. They trade uppercuts at the center of the ring, drawing the loudest cheers of the night. Releford would land at will with the right uppercut, but Castillo ripped him to the body at the end of the round.  The tenth saw a more desperate Castillo headhunting but missing wildly at times and walking into counters.  Clearly the aggressor throughout the fight, Castillo continued to press the action into the championship rounds but despite his best efforts, Releford seemed to have his timing down and continued to score the cleaner punches.  The final round was close with back and forth action from both men.  The judges scored the bout, 114 – 113, 114 -113, and 116 – 111 all in favor of Releford who improved to 11-4-1 (5).  Castillo drops to 26-5-2 (14).

Undercard action:

Cruiserweight Dale Brown retains his NABO title with a  unanimous decision over Jermell Barnes. Scores were 117-111 and 116-112 twice.  Brown improves to 31-3-1 (20) while Barnes drops to 17-6 (4).

Light heavyweight Daniel Judah (20-0-3) scored a TKO over Ray Berry (19-18) when Berry failed to answer the bell for the sixth round

Jr welterweight Johnny Pawlowski (1-1-1) stopped Tom Mills (1-1) at 2:04 of the first round.

Jr. middleweight Francisco Osorio (12-2) dropped  Steve Walker (15-10) three times in the third

en route to TKO victory at 2:47 of the third round.

Lightweights Meacher Major (3-1-1) and Felix Lora (2-1-2) fought to 38-38 a draw on all three score cards.